Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cages, Cages, Cages!!

There are so many cages to choose from. It can be hard to decide what to buy for your bunny. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before you go out and buy your cage.

Are you keeping the bunny outside or indoors?
Is the bunny a buck or doe?
If you are a breeder, how much space do you have?

Indoor Pet Bunnies

There are a lot of nice pet bunny cages at your local pet store. Some have solid bottoms and wire sides/top. Others have a wire bottom with a pan to pull out and clean. Both are fairly easy to clean, however I don't recommend them for all rabbits.

Bucks should definitely have urine guards. If you have a buck with short hair, I'd recommend a solid bottom cage. It is also a good idea to purchase a litter box for solid bottom cages. If your rabbit has longer hair, you should definitely get a wire bottom cage to keep the bunny clean. You can then buy urine guards to attach to the inside of the cage.

Does don't necessarily need urine guards, so I recommend buying a wire bottom cage with tray. You can then determine if urine guards may be needed in the one corner they use as their potty.

Outdoor Pet Bunnies

There is really only one type of outdoor hutch that I recommend. The hutch should have two compartments with a doorway in between. One side should be protected from the weather with wood sides and door. There should be a roof and wire bottom on both sides. There should also be a piece of wood cut to place in the enclosed side in cold weather which is able to be moved to the other side as a resting board in the summer.

Breeders or owners of multiple rabbits
(meant for those who keep them in a building)

When I first got into breeding, I had a hard time deciding what cages I should buy or make.

If you have plenty of space and dirt floors, you might prefer hanging cages. They are cheaper to make and easy to shovel out and clean.

If you are like most of us, space is an issue and we have to get stackable cages. I use mostly Havahart cages, but I also really like Bass Cages. It is more difficult and costly to make your own stackable cages. I haven't been able to come up with a plan to make them that actually saves enough money to be worth it. The Tractor Supply Company will give you a discount if you are buying a bunch of them, so it's around $50.00 for one cage with water bottle, feeder and stackable hutch kit (legs). I've ordered cages from Bass Equipment that are just as nice or nicer for my bucks at around the same price. There are a lot of companies that make nice ones, though. You can also purchase them and pick them up at rabbit shows to save on shipping.

The one mistake I made from the beginning was that I didn't buy urine guards. You should definitely have urine guards for any stacking cages that you buy. It will keep the cage nice much longer and give you extra years before needing to buy new ones. Plus it will keep your floors dry.

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